When the oppressed oppress

I once signed up to be an exchange student i Macau, China. It was a deeply transformative experience, but not in the way that I had imagined. I fled the place after just four weeks with my ego shattered, which plunged me into a four year long depression.

You see, I went to Macau thinking that I was the great globetrotter that could handle anything. I was hard headed, to say the least. What I didn’t know when I signed up was that Macau is extremely racist towards white people.

In nearby Hong Kong the Chinese generally get along well with whites. There the British ruled and they did so very well, letting the Chinese be a part of the system they built. Macau was a very different story. The Portuguese ruled Macau and they did so in an apartheid manner, oppressing the Chinese and keeping them away from any kind of power. So while they like Westerners in Hong Kong, they absolutely hate them in Macau. And I unknowingly stepped straight into that with my white male globetrotter ego flying high.

They treated me like shit, so after only a few perfectly awful weeks I fled in chock. Of course, being a white Westerner I have the privilege to flee uncomfortable situations, which refugees and such do not. In retrospect I am very happy that I had that experience. Yes, it did shatter my ego, but my ego was in desperate need of being shattered. Yes, it did plunge me into a four year long depression, but working through that gave me so many insights into how people work and tools to help. And it has also given me humbleness towards the hardship that refugees face. But having said that, I suffered nothing less than a deep trauma.

There are many that are like the Chinese I met in Macau. People who have been so oppressed and that are so angry over the discrimination that they feel they have suffered, that they are willing to unleash the same kind of hell on others. They have been so badly mistreated that once the table has turned they mistreat others. Two for me obvious examples are the Jews in Israel and some feminists, especially the younger more radical ones. Although I can definitely understand the reaction, I cannot sympathize with it, since it adds to and thus perpetuates the problem.

Photo: Angry mob? by Karla Fitch on Flickr

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather
Facebookrssby feather

Structures vs The power within

Once upon a time I saw oppressive structures everywhere. I felt restricted, bullied and forced. By chance that feeling fit very well with my life as an alcoholic, which I lived back then. As an alcoholic it was always very convenient to have someone else to blame for my shortcomings and failures. I was angry and it was nice to know that it was someone else’s fault that I had no job, felt bad about myself or simply didn’t get things done. When I studied at university, I was a strong supporter of all theories that confirmed what I believed – that it was someone else’s fault.

Then came my awakening which made me stop drinking from one day to the next. The essence of that awakening was that everything begins within me. The ultimate power over my life lies in me and it is up to me to create that life. With that understanding I chose to remodel my life. I freed myself from alcohol abuse and began a journey of personal and spiritual development. I chose to heal and grow. Every single step on that path was taken with the conscious knowledge that I create my own life.

The past few months have not been comfortable for me. I have gone back to university and now I have once again been drowned in theories about the structures that oppress and bind us, but this time they feel like a lower vibration. Of course, I understand that there are actual oppressive structures, but it has also become clear to me that many, if not most, who embrace such theories ultimately do so to be angry, to have someone to blame or to be able to rest in their victim role. Even I started searching for ways that I am a victim and I managed so well that I soon understood how I was the most oppressed person in the room.

But there was something gigantic and for me very important missing – that which enables personal growth and recovery. Low feelings of oppression, anger and victimhood can certainly be channeled into action, but for many they mostly seem to be paralyzing. And let me clarify this and say that I do not see, for example, going to a demonstration or rally as an active action. In order to develop as a person or to heal, such seemingly active actions can on the contrary be very passive and even dulling, since they do not force us to question our roles or assumptions.

All this was very uncomfortable to me, because on the one hand I realize that there is a truth to this with structures, but on the other hand I know even stronger that all power in my life comes from within and this realization gives me the power to heal and grow.

Then came my third introduction to sociology in this lifetime and once again I had to wrestle Marx and the other guys. More specifically I became interested in the concepts of alienation and commodity fetishism. When we create something and put our heart into it, it can be felt that it has a soul. We have imbued it with our own energy and in many cases the process of making it has also developed us as human beings, even if it might only be technically. When the production moves into a factory, the process is fragmented and workers only perform a part of the whole, the soul is lost and the product is disconnected from those who created it. In short we become alienated from what we have produced. The item becomes a simple gadget without a soul, something outside of ourselves that has very little to do with us.

Then I found the sentence which released me from my discomfort. “The same dynamics characterize all sectors of […] society: people start to believe that social structures have their own life […]”. (Ritzer 2013, p. 231 – translated from Swedish) People create structures, but since we alienate ourselves from them we begin imagining that they are separate from us. When we want to change them we therefore approach them as something external to us. We attack them from the outside as something that needs to be solved or even fought.

Had we not been alienated from the social structures, we would have recognized them as reflections of our inner selves, which would have led us to seek the solution within ourselves. When we begin the process of reclaiming power over what we create, we soon see the truth that has been present throughout my journey – all power originates from within.

Once again humankinds less sympathetic traits shine through. We have the tendency to seek scapegoats outside ourselves. We want the problem to be somewhere else, with someone else or in something else. When we place blame we do so by pointing away from ourselves, but as the saying goes, three fingers are pointing back at us.

If you want to help others, start by helping yourself.
If you want to heal the world, heal yourself and you will heal everything around you.
If you want to destroy racism, begin by healing the racist within. When you do so, your whole appearance will shift so dramatically that you will plant love in the heart of others.

It all starts with you.
You are the Alpha and the Omega.
You are the universe expressing itself as a human.

When you change yourself, everything else changes.

Photo: Sam’s Organic Universe by Nicolas Raymond on Flickr

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather
Facebookrssby feather

To hear birds sing, don’t sit in traffic

It is more difficult to work spiritually in a city, because it is harder to connect and to hear the spirit world. I’m not saying that it is impossible, just more difficult. The air in the city is so saturated with information that it is quite deafening. Everywhere the advertisements are screaming at you, cars honking, alarm shrieking, wifi networks are working, phone calls, sirens, talk. Information, information, information.

To hear the waves cluck, don’t sit in a park. To hear the birds sing, don’t sit in traffic. To hear your own thoughts, the other side or the highest divine – get out of the city.

Photo: Tokyo subway at rush hour by Tim Adams on Flickr

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather
Facebookrssby feather

My Declaration of Independence

Psychedelics literally saved my life. I could have died if LSD hadn’t found me. And if I wouldn’t have died it seems very likely that I would have been severely damaged by alcohol by now.

To me it was nothing short of a miracle when LSD saved me, so it was logical for me to continue working with psychedelics to heal and grow. I have now been working with psychedelic for nine years and I am incredibly happy that I made that choice. I have experienced so much healing and so much growth. What I have managed to do in nine years with the help of psychedelics would have taken several lifetimes to do without them.

Therefore it is extremely provocative to me that anyone imagines that they have the right to forbid me to work with them. It is provocative that some people think they have the right to punish me for how I choose to heal and grow.

No one has that right.

I could call upon my human rights at the global or European level, which guarantee me the right to my own spiritual path and to my own healing. I could call upon national legislation which ensures me the same. I could, like Jens Waldmann, claim self-defense.

But I don’t want to, simply because it does not matter to me what some ignorant person has written on a piece of paper. I’m Daniel. I am a reflection of the highest divine. I own the rights to my own body and my own life. I own the rights to my own healing and growing.

Those who think they can take away these rights are oppressors. It is an act of violence to try to deny me these rights and any law that tries to do so lacks legitimacy. Those who try to deny me my rights are my enemies and there is no reason for me to negotiate with them. I have the right to defend myself against their violence.

Here and now I declare this:

I own the right to my own life.

I own the right to my own body.

I own the right to my own path.

I own the right to my own healing and my own growth.

As long as I do not consciously hurt anyone else, my rights are above any rights that other people imagine that they have over me.

Photo: Freedom Libertad by Jesus Solana on Flickr

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather
Facebookrssby feather

The most helpful word

When I began my journey of personal development I sent a sms to half my contact list asking friends, acquaintances and colleagues to describe me. I got many answers, most of which were very nice. Creative, kind, energetic. There were also some which were in a grey zone, such as provocative. But there was one word that really stood out. It was from my former boss.

Petty.

When I read it, it really made me sick to my stomach. It’s not a word I want to be associated with. He was the only one who wrote it, but I knew there was a truth there which I needed to meet.

Of all the words I found in that exercise, petty was with no doubt the one that developed me the most. I worked with my pettiness for about a year. It was sticky and yucky and made me feel bad about myself. And I’m not trying to convince myself that I managed to obliterate it or that it can never peek out again, but I do think that I managed to take care of it very well.

Today it is easy for me to be happy about other peoples’ successes, to be generous and at the same time also be grateful for what I have.

What I also learnt was that honesty about the negative aspects of life opens up the doors so that we can air out the negative. Therefore I try to be honest towards people who also seek to grow. However, it is incredibly important that it is done with love for the person. My former boss would not have helped me if he himself had been petty when he gave me the word.

Photo: The Bean by Alyssa L. Miller on Flickr

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather
Facebookrssby feather

Rules of sexual engagement

Because of my past sex addiction it has become important for me to set up rules when it comes to sex. Here are some of the rules that I have found.

I only have sex with people I like.

This may seem obvious, but many have probably had sex with someone they don’t really like, simply because they lost control to sexual desire, because they were bored or because they felt sorry for the person. Liking someone does not mean I have to be in love or want to have more than a casual sexual contact. It simply means that I need to like the person. For me that rule is often easy to live by, since I usually find it easy to like people, but I have backed away more than once from people who I thought were incredibly sexually attractive because I just didn’t like them. In those cases it has been because they were racist, homophobic, ego manical, condescending or show other similar negative traits that put me off.

I do not have sex with people who use our sex to hurt themselves.

There are many who use sex in a very destructive way, where they could just as easily have numbed themselves with alcohol/drugs or cut themselves with razor blades. Sometimes they have several types of these behaviors which make them easy to spot. If I consciously allow myself to be used by someone who hurts themselves with me, I hurt myself. Therefore I can’t have sex with someone who wants to use our sex in that manner, even if I truly like the person and have a different approach. With that said, it is of course possible to have sex with that person if the person is aware of the problem and wants to use sex to release and heal, but that is of course something entirely different.

I only want to do what you want to do.

For a long time I was so focused on my own fantasies that I almost nagged my way to experiencing them. Very unsexy, I know. Over time it has become quite obvious to me that I’m only interested in doing what my partner also wants to do. Everything else puts me off. I very much appreciate having a partner who wants to explore and who is willing to try things even when they aren’t of huge interest, but now I always respect a no, because why would I want to do something with someone who does not want to? It’s like going on holiday with someone who does not want to go on holiday, or go to the cinema with someone who does not want to go to the cinema. Chances are that it will be a completely miserable experience.

● ● ●

In addition to the rules, I also have an intention to how I approach sex. It may vary slightly, and as with the rules they are not finished, but here are a few important parts.

I strive to be consciously present.

For me my sex abuse dissolved when I found mindfulness in sex, or meditation if you like. Therefore, it is something that I actively seek. As long as I am aware, it is quite easy, because all I really need to do is to consciously touch, massage or be very close. Then I’m there. I often connect through touch.

I strive to have sex that is more than enjoyment.

My best sexual experiences and my most stimulating sexual relations have made clear to me that sex can be so much more than just pleasure. Above all I’m very interested in exploring sex as a way to heal and grow. In this context pleasure sometimes feels rather like a lovely side effect and sex only for pleasure is easily perceived as somewhat flat. I definitely think that sex for pleasure is good too, but I find it very difficult to imagine myself in a longer sexual relationship where pleasure is the only purpose.

My sperm is my life force and I take conscious care of it.

There are spiritual traditions that focus a lot on that the man should not lose his energy by ejaculating. I respect that approach, but that is not the message I’m getting. I am instead being told not to waste my life energy, which I do if my partner doesn’t take care of it. Therefore it has become important to me that my partner takes care of my sperm. If my partner does not want to, or if it is assumed that I should cum in a condom or sock, I prefer to save my life energy by not ejaculating at all. In the past it was important to me to cum and it was something I chased in sex, but now it’s something I only do if I’m with someone who appreciates and takes care of my life force. My experience is that it is a transfer of energy.

● ● ●

I would love to hear what rules, guidelines or intentions you have for sex. Please feel free to write a comment or send me an email if you feel it is too personal.

Photo: No name by Luis Hernandez on Flickr

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather
Facebookrssby feather